USA: Which stadium does Leo Messi play at?

source:; author: Kuba Kowalski

USA: Which stadium does Leo Messi play at? Lionel Messi, world champion and seven-time Ballon d'Or winner, has decided to play for Inter Miami after a long career in Europe. Which stadium does the Argentine currently play at? What could Messi's future venue be? Will Inter Miami move to Hard Rock Stadium?


Where is Messi playing at the moment?

Inter Miami currently plays at the temporary 18,000-capacity DRV PNK Stadium (Lockhart) in Fort Lauderdale. When David Beckham announced the end of his career in 2013, it was known that he would look into building a new football club in the USA. The right to buy the licence without competing for it was secured under his contract with LA Galaxy. Therefore, as early as 2014, the first concept for a stadium for the Miami club emerged.

Inter Miami planned for Messi to make his debut on July 21 at the DRV PNK stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and this is what happened. On the occasion of the meeting with Mexican team Cruz Azul, Messi entered the field and scored a goal from a free kick for the win. The process of preparing for the Argentine's arrival included work to increase the capacity of the stadium to 22,000 seats by adding around 3,000 seats. In addition, player security has been increased for both home and away matches.

DRV PNK Stadium© Moss & AssociatesManica Architecture | DRV PNK Stadium

Which league does Leo Messi play in?

Lionel Messi plays in the MLS (Major League Soccer). Inter Miami, the Argentine's club, has been part of this competition since 2020. So far, David Beckham's team has not recorded much success, and organisationally, many things at this club have not worked as they should. Inter Miami appear to have been inadequately prepared on a number of occasions. In their inaugural 2020 season, they started the competition without a shirt sponsor. A year later, they were fined by MLS for violating the league's transfer rules by signing Blaise Matuidi. Furthermore, in none of their three seasons they have managed to finish higher than 12th in the league's Supporters' Shield (regular season) standings. This is obviously set to change with the arrival of the World Champion from Rosario.

Major League Soccer (MLS) is the top tier of men's league football in the United States and Canada, and is also the highest central tier (league level I). It is currently played by 29 clubs from both countries. There is no promotion or relegation rule in this league. It was established in 1993 just before the 1994 World Cup. The first season was played in 1996, with 10 teams participating.

DRV PNK Stadium© Moss & AssociatesManica Architecture | DRV PNK Stadium

Where will Messi play in the future?

From a long-term perspective, Inter Miami's future certainly looks bright, as evidenced by the plan for a $1B stadium, which is in the planning stages and due to open in 2025. It is possible that Messi will play at Miami Freedom Park in the future, as that is the name of Inter's upcoming facility. It is a complex to be built on the site of the Melreese golf course, next to Miami International Airport. Only the baseball fields will be retained from the existing quarter. In addition to the main stadium, there are plans for a hotel for 750 guests, offices and shops, as well as a football academy with nine pitches (but only one full-size pitch) and an extensive park for residents. The whole development will occupy an impressive 53 hectares.

The main stadium itself was kept secret for a long time. The first renderings showed an oval building with an irrational shape. It was not until a year later that the final concept by Arquitectonica and HOK was shown. An arena for 25,000 spectators was planned with an irregular layout of the auditorium, including a massive single-tier grandstand in the north and a VIP balcony suspended high above the pitch in the south.

It is not the auditorium that is most interesting, however. The inner walls of the arena are to be covered with a large, irregular screen, similar to the one in Krasnodar, Russia. On the outside, on the other hand, the stadium will be covered with a lightweight roof made of a light-transmitting membrane, which has been shaped like the wings of a flamingo, the club's symbol.

Miami Freedom Park© Inter Miami CF | Miami Freedom Park

Will Inter Miami move to Hard Rock Stadium?

Inter Miami could play a possible US Open Cup final at Hard Rock Stadium. Jorge Mas, owner of Inter Miami, has revealed that if the club qualifies for the US Open Cup final, it will play the match at Hard Rock Stadium. If the team wins the Open Cup semi-final and if Houston wins its tie, the final could be played at Hard Rock Stadium in front of more than 65,000 spectators.

Inter Miami will play their US Open Cup semi-final match on August 23 at 7pm at TQL Cincinnati Stadium. If they win the match and qualify for the final, that match will be played on September 27 at a venue to be determined, but in the event that Inter Miami and the Houston Dynamo are the finalists, that match could be played at the 65,000-capacity Hard Rock Stadium (home of the NFL team, the Miami Dolphins).

However, overall, Inter Miami has no plans to play at Hard Rock Stadium on a permanent basis. The club wants to continue playing at the temporary DRV PNK Stadium, and move to Miami Freedom Park in 2 years' time. So the plan is to play home matches at the stadium in Fort Lauderdale, but there is the possibility of playing some matches at Hard Rock Stadium.

Hard Rock Stadium© Jorge Molina | Hard Rock Stadium

Where did Messi play before Inter Miami?

Messi won three trophies with PSG, five with Argentina and 35 with the club he played the longest for, Barcelona. The only player who has also won 43 trophies in his career is Messi's former Barcelona teammate Dani Alves. During his 19-year career, Lionel Messi only played for three clubs: Spain's FC Barcelona, France's Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and US-based Inter Miami.

In 2000, at the age of 13, Lionel Messi joined Barcelona's youth academy, the famous La Masia, and the rest is history. At just 17 years, three months and 22 days old, Lionel Messi became the youngest player to play a match in Barcelona colours at the time. The Argentine soon became a first-team player and took over as the club's talisman from Brazilian icon Ronaldinho. During his time with the Catalan giants, Lionel Messi won 10 La Ligas and four UEFA Champions League titles.

Camp Nou© cosmo_71 (cc: by-nd) | Camp Nou before construction

What is Messi's favourite stadium?

The Argentine has repeatedly said that Barcelona is his home. Messi's beloved stadium is Camp Nou, but he also appreciated another arena. Leo Messi said that Celtic's stadium - Celtic Park - has the best atmosphere in European football. Ahead of Barcelona's match against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter-finals, Messi admitted that he has fond memories of three previous meetings with this team in 2008, 2012 and 2013.

Messi scored a goal during their last game in Glasgow in 2012, but could not prevent a surprise 2-1 defeat to Celtic. "I have a Celtic shirt at home," Messi said. "The matches against Celtic were special and I want to remember them. It's the best atmosphere in Europe and all footballers would like to experience that."

Celtic Park© Scotdrone | Celtic Park